Somehow it feels more socially acceptable to brag about our adopted kiddos than our bio girls (not that I don’t do plenty of that, too. I just feel guiltier about it.) I can’t take any of the credit for their nature and only a fraction of the credit for their nurture, so it’s not really bragging, just noting awesomeness when I see it.
Now that I have my disclaimer out of the way, would you just look at how amazing my boy is?! Clubber of the month for December means he memorized more verses that month that any other boy in their AWANA club!
Three of our girls have also received this award over the years, and of course, it is always an honor, but the boy… Oh, how hard he worked for this!
When he first started AWANA, he was six months home, had just had major craniofacial surgery, and was still wearing his halo, which kept him from participating in most of the gym-time games. To add insult to injury, because English was still so new to him (and Bible verses being Bible verses were full of big new words), he went weeks and weeks without being able to successfully say a single verse. John 3 :16, the verse every good Christian knows by heart before he is potty-trained, took him months to learn. After a few weeks of discouragement while Bea, who is in the same grade and was working through the same book, raced ahead of him, I had a chat with one of his leaders. They agreed to be a little more flexible and give him a bit more help, under the circumstances.
He muddled through like that for a while, making his very best effort but still not quite managing to learn the verses quite the same way the other kids did, and there was plenty of grace for him. He has loved AWANA all along.
But this year, something clicked. Maybe he just finally saw his chance to overtake his long-time competitor (Bea), or maybe the words just finally started becoming words to him instead of just collections of letters. (And maybe it helped, just a teensy bit, that we don’t hang out at my mom’s house all day on Wednesdays before AWANA anymore now that she has switched her day off.) Whatever it was, our little man has been working his tail off to learn his verses, and it has paid off. I am so proud of him I don’t know what to do with myself.
One of his leaders came to me the night he received the award, with tears in her eyes, to tell me the story of his “acceptance speech”. They had asked him if he knew what it meant to get “Clubber of the Month”, and he replied confidently,
“You have to say a LOT of verses. And believe them!”
Lord, may it be so.